Paul and Gail's Home

about the design

Paul and Gail  purchased a sloping unbuilt desert infill site within an existing built neighborhood on the west slope of Look Out Mountain in north Phoenix.

As an upgrade from the conservative home, where they raised their kids, we were asked to design a new home for their retired living, their visiting family, and their visiting friends.

  • From the upper level, rooftop access is provided for Paul’s star gazing hobby.
  • Two levels were stacked with master living and guest sleeping within the upper level and separated by an interior walkway open to a two story family space at the grade level. The lower level included a private library space separated with a breezeway from the social gathering and cooking space.
  • Spaces along sweeping curves align with the existing site contours from north to south.  A thin house and open space creates natural ventilation from open windows along the east and west exposures during those months in Arizona, when the air conditioners for heating and cooling are on pause. The arrangement of spaces allows panoramic views eastward from most spaces to Look Out Mountain.
  • Floor to ceiling glass is located adjacent the desert preserve, and solid wall planes separate interior spaces  and float outside to help manage the south sun. Exposure to the harsh west solar exposure and west adjacent neighborhood is buffered with thick walls and minimal glazing.
  • Given that this site was being used daily by neighbors for trail access into the mountain preserve, we spent endless hours meeting with both the city and the neighbors. Our process included receiving Phoenix Planning and Zoning approval for a design variance(of benefit to both the owner and the neighborhood).